Bucknell has given me the opportunity to travel through academics and athletics. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, I’ve seen the world through the lenses of my studies and my goggles.

Heather Smith '15

Congratulations on your graduation, Heather!

"I knew that I wanted to swim the English Channel for three years before I did it this summer. I didn't tell anyone about my plan, but after deciding to take some time off from water polo, I knew that I was ready. I trained for seven months in Bucknell's pool and back home in the San Francisco bay for up to five hours everyday. All of my hard work paid off when I finished in 11 hours and 10 minutes.

"Traveling to England to take on this challenge was an incredible experience in so many ways. Not only was I able to accomplish the goal of my dreams, but I was also supported by many of my closest friends, family and even strangers. I met numerous local people in England who encouraged me throughout the trip, whether it was the crew who kept my spirits up or the staff at the local pub who celebrated with me. 

"I've also been able to travel to Turkey and Greece thanks to the opportunities Bucknell has given me. During the summer after my freshman year, I went on a trip led by Professor Stephanie Larson. I loved the language and history so much that I chose classics with a focus on ancient Greece as one of my majors. I was even invited back to work with her on archaeological digs in Thebes during the summers of my sophomore and junior years. I love working with the local people and discovering more about my studies and myself.

"I owe this part of my Bucknell experience to Professor Larson. During both the trip and archaeological digs, she shared her life experience, travel stories and funny puns with me. Her mentoring has really impacted my life and helped me choose my future direction.  

"Since arriving at Bucknell, I've had the opportunity to study five different languages: Greek, Arabic, Russian, Hebrew and French. I chose to study Russian on a total whim. I ended up falling in love with the language and decided to not just major in the language, but study abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia in the fall of my sophomore year. Although it was a very tough experience for me in terms of harsh weather and culture shock, I truly value what I learned as it contributed to appreciation of language as a whole.  

"Bucknell has given me the opportunity to travel through academics and athletics. With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, I've seen the world through the lenses of my studies and my goggles." 

Heather is from Redwood, Calif.

Posted November 17, 2014

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